2013 Session

Budget Amendments - HB1500 (Member Request)

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Chief Patron: Jones
Suffolk Rail Relocation Study (language only)

Item 442 #2h

Item 442 #2h

Rail and Public Transportation, Department of

Page 405, after line 28, insert:
"F. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, out of the amounts appropriated for this item such funds as shall be necessary shall be utilized for a study to further analyze the necessary improvements identified in the study undertaken under contract by the Virginia Port Authority in 2010 regarding the Commonwealth Rail Line Safety Relocation Initiative in the City of Suffolk.  Such study shall focus on the improvements needed to implement Alternative 4 as identified by in the aforementioned study and is intended to help address the impacts of port-related rail traffic in the City of Suffolk.  The Department of Rail and Public Transportation shall work with the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Virginia Port Authority to identify the respective share of project costs that should be borne by each entity, recognizing that the rail project seeks to address adverse highway delays caused by rail traffic emanating from the Virginia Port Authority operated facilities.  Such review shall assess the availability of Rail Enhancement Funding, Rail Preservation Funding, Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing, Transportation Innovation and Finance funding, Highway Safety Improvement Funding, Rail Industrial Access grants and Virginia Port Authority funding available to finance the critical improvements.  The Department shall submit a report to the Chairmen of the House Appropriations and Transportation Committees and the Senate Finance and Transportation Committees by November 15, 2013 outlining the potential funding sources and a proposed schedule of completion for the detailed study."

(This amendment directs the Department of Rail and Public Transportation to undertake a study to further investigate the improvements identified in a 2010 study conducted by Moffat and Nichol for the Virginia Port Authority related to the Commonwealth Railway Mainline Safety Relocation in the City of Suffolk. State fund previously was provided to relocate the rail line through the Cities of Portsmouth and Chesapeake, but no such relocation was undertaken in Suffolk. Currently there are 51 public at-grade crossings in Suffolk, traversed by 167,046 vehicles per day, and resulting in 227 daily hours of vehicle delay. Average delay is projected to increase to 617 daily hours if improvements are not made. Implementation of Alternative 4 identified by the 2010 study would mitigate 31 of the 51 at-grade crossings.)